CONTROLLED burns to reduce the risk of bushfires on French Island created a spectacular cloud formation late Saturday afternoon.
From Rosebud the cloud appeared to be hovering over the top of Arthurs Seat and alarmed some people travelling across the peninsula toward Hastings until they saw it was emanating from fires on the island.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment has earmarked 671 hectares on the island to be burned and locations including Clump Lagoon (70ha), near the airstrip (101ha), the cemetery (138ha) and McLeod West (362ha).
Other burns are planned at Devilbend Natural Feature Reserve near Moorooduc (50ha), Arthurs Seat State Park near St Andrews Ave (11ha), at Frankston North near Peninsula Link freeway (14.5ha) and in the Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve near Millparra Court, Frankston (10ha).
Meanwhile, DSE showed off eight prototype firefighting vehicles in Knoxfield on Monday.
The vehicles will be tested by firefighters at planned burns around Melbourne as the number of burns increase.